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Troopers investigate wanton waste near Sitka

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Sitka black-tailed deer in DeGroff Bay.

Alaska Wildlife troopers in Sitka are investigating one case of wanton waste, and one case of failure to salvage all edible meat, from several deer found near town recently.

The first, last Wednesday (9-21-11), involved an animal found in the driveway entrance to Sitka High School.

Tim Hall is a wildlife trooper based in Sitka.

 

“The deer was left on the sign overnight, completely unsalvaged, not gutted, not field-dressed. No meat taken from it. Apparently left as a prank.”

Hall says the deer was a young doe. He does not know whether it had been shot or hit by a car, only that it was completely intact, and beyond salvage by the time it was discovered.
He says school officials had removed the animal prior to the arrival of students that morning.

Prank or no, the failure to salvage meat from a game animal is a serious crime. However, not all waste is necessarily wanton. Hall says sometimes animals are simply salvaged poorly. He says the most common “motive” is simply not taking the time to do it right.

“Often it’s people being in a hurry when they’re butchering. It takes a few extra minutes to get the meat off the deer and grind that into hamburger or whatever people like to do with it. Or give it to charity, if you don’t want it. Those few extra minutes are apparently precious to some people after a weekend of deer hunting.”

That seems to be the case with three carcasses found on Sunday (9-25-11) on Sawmill Creek Road, near the intersection of Blue Lake Road. Two small bucks and a doe had each been shot one time, but large amounts of meat remained on the carcasses.

Hall says that unless all four quarters, the backstrap, and tenderloin have been taken, an animal may be considered all- or partially-wasted. The incident is being investigated as a lesser crime than wanton waste: the failure to salvage all edible meat.
He says most folks find these crimes particularly difficult to forgive.

“The big thing here is that people are outraged about deer being wasted. I think everyone who’s a legal, ethical hunter sees that as a disgusting thing to do.”

Anyone with information about either incident of wanton waste is encouraged to notify the troopers in Sitka at 747-3254, or call Wildlife Safeguard toll free at 800 478-3377.
The unsalvaged deer carcasses were donated to the Fortress of the Bear.

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